SPORTS by Jack Kintner
Borderite kicker flattens Baker 22-20
Though out-gunned for most of the first half, Blaine took the measure of a talented Mt. Baker squad in last weekend’s Homecoming Game, coming from two touchdowns back to win 22-20 on junior Keith Sentkowski’s first varsity field goal.
After Blaine got burned with two 30-yard touchdown passes from Mountaineer Brian Marshall to Brett Johnson, Blaine’s senior quarterback Daniel Gorze ran around his left side for Blaine’s first touchdown nearly at the end of the second quarter. With Keith Sentkowski’s extra point the score stood at 12-7 Baker with just 12 seconds left in the first half.
The Mounties received Sentkowski’s kickoff and ran it back to the 25, taking five seconds to do so. On his first play from scrimmage Baker quarterback Brian Marshall scrambled around and about, ending up at mid-field before being gang-tackled, but a slow-starting clock ticked off only three more seconds before Baker called timeout, leaving four seconds for one last play, and the way Baker had been scoring they were a definite threat to go back up by two touchdowns at the half.
Baker coach Ron Lepper called for a short pass to the right, but Baker ran the pattern wrong, giving Borderite defensive back Jacob Rogers all the chance he needed to redeem himself for having let Baker’s Brett Johnson get behind him – twice – for first half touchdowns.
He jumped into the pattern and intercepted Marshall’s pass at the Blaine 45 and returned it 55 yards. It was measured officially at only 46 yards on the interception because of where Baker began the play, but make no mistake, Rogers electrifying run really turned the switch for the Borderites and their fans.
After catching the ball, Rogers had only one man to beat, Baker’s talented junior linebacker 6-foot 200 pound David Kashubin. Rogers got just enough of an angle on the defender by pointing right while moving left and ran it in, just nicking the corner of the endzone for Blaine’s second touchdown in 12 seconds and a one point 13-12 halftime lead. The teams headed for the locker room with their roles reversed, Blaine suddenly pumped and Baker now wondering how they could have lost their lead so quickly.
Baker regained the lead in the third quarter with a 74-yard pass, again from Marshall to Johnson, and faked the PAT kick – they’d already missed two – and scored a two point conversion on a pass from coach’s son Zak Lepper to running back Chad Cain. But Blaine came back later in the quarter, Gorze scoring his second touchdown of the night as part of his 207-yard offensive effort, 195 through the air and 12 on the ground.
As the fourth quarter opened Blaine trailed by one, 20-19, until with about four minutes left Blaine lined up on the 26 for a fourth-down field goal attempt.
It sailed high through the uprights, testimony to Sentkowski’s hard work over the summertime when he’d spend an hour in the weight room before practicing his kicks out on the field.
“It was a good, tight game,” said head coach Jay Dodd, “and I think we played a lot more kids than they did, so we were just a little bit fresher.”
In the second half Blaine began running the ball more effectively, getting most of their 139 total rushing yards after the half. Blaine’s defense, especially David Craig and Darrell Price, Jr., effectively stopped Baker.
At one point Price sacked Marshall a good 25 yards behind the line of scrimmage, then picked him up and, one supposes, said something appropriate as he trotted back to the defensive huddle.
Rogers, with 120 yards, and Al Bohnson, with 53, were Blaine’s leading receivers, and Casey McCabe had a 100-plus game, getting 109 yards on the ground, most of it in the second half.
Blaine’s next two games are on the road. An uneven but always deep Lynden squad is the next Borderite opponent, the game to be played in Lynden at 7 p.m. On the tenth we face Squalicum at Civic Field in Bellingham.
Lady Bs drop two close home games
The Lady Bs dropped two games this past week, losing to a tough and talented Ferndale squad last Thursday 3-1 and then dropping a heartbreaker to Squalicum 1-0 when a goal kick went awry with a minute left in the game and was returned point blank by Sehome’s Jessica Bertucci with virtually no time for Blaine to answer back.
Against Ferndale, Blaine was game but outmatched by the faster 3-A squad as another Locker, in this case Haley, led Ferndale’s attack early and often. She scored in the third minute and was followed by two other unassisted goals.
Against Sehome, a skilled and experienced team, the Lady Bs matched them evenly throughout the physical and rough game. A Sehome player was yellow-carded in the first half and then Blaine’s Bre Adams got the same treatment in the second, being given a card for “dissent,” which is talking back to the ref even though she said nothing after getting hammered to the ground. Sophomore mid Emily Flint got rammed by one Sehome bruiser and spent some of the game with an ice pack on her ankle.
“Our girls played very well, despite the last-minute loss today,” said head coach Dan Steelquist, “and that’s good, because our schedule doesn’t let up.”
The girls go next against Squalicum Thursday, October 2, at the Pipe.